States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 2, 2010||
MILFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY CHARGE
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAUL SUNER, also known as “Sonny,” 49, of Milford, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to one count of racketeering conspiracy stemming from his involvement in an illegal gambling operation.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SUNER and Phillip John Bauco of Bridgeport operated an illegal sports betting operation that utilized the internet to access an offshore betting service in order to facilitate the bets and payoffs. SUNER used threats and violence in order to maintain control over the gambling enterprise, including injuring a bookmaker by repeatedly striking him with a baseball bat when the bookmaker could not satisfy a debt. On another occasion, SUNER threatened the same bookmaker with a knife and wiped blood on the bookmaker’s jacket.
Law enforcement officers subsequently obtained a DNA match linking SUNER to the knife incident.
SUNER and Bauco used Bauco’s business, Auto Town Sales in Stratford, to hold meetings related to the criminal enterprise, and to collect debts from other bookmakers and gamblers.
Judge Covello has scheduled sentencing for May 21, 2010, at which time SUNER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
In addition to the racketeering conspiracy charge, on October 8, 2008, SUNER pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. In pleading guilty, SUNER admitted that, on March 4, 2008, he knowingly possessed a Browning 9mm semi-automatic pistol bearing an obliterated serial number.
SUNER has been incarcerated since his arrest by federal officials on March 6, 2008.
On January 28, 2010, Bauco pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. He awaits sentencing.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the Milford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ray Miller.
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